September 1, 2013 by Rick Rottman
Working at a tech support call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver
Working in a tech support call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver. Sort of. Deep sea divers can only go deep underwater for a certain amount of time, then they must spend time on the surface decompressing. There’s no such thing as a deep sea diver working twelve hours a day, seven days a week. It’s a matter of chemistry. They simply can’t go to the depths they routinely dive to and breath the combination of gasses they routinely breath without spending a significant amount of time on dry land decompressing from it all.
In that, working at a call center is a lot like being a deep sea diver. For every hour spent on the phone dealing with difficult, obnoxious people, I need time away from it all so that I can decompress. It’s what I’m doing this Labor day weekend. I’m decompressing. I took Friday off so that I would have a full four days off the phone.
I should point out that the majority of the calls I take at work are with perfectly wonderful people who are as kind and courteous as you would hope they would be. It’s the small minority of people who are rude, aggressive, and overly obnoxious. Usually the more technically involved the issue, the nicer people tend to be. Often times the rudest of the rude people involve something as simple as getting a password reset. They can’t verify the account information that need to verify to get a password reset, and that was clearly my fault.
For example, When I recently asked a man to please stop swearing and shouting at me, he responded to my request by telling me that if I didn’t like it, to read a book or go to school and get a real job. He was calling because he couldn’t remember his password. He was angry because he couldn’t verify the account info he needed to verify to get the password reset. He hung up.
The go to school and/or read a book comment is funny because even though I have an associates degree (in avionics!), I’m one of the least educated individuals in my department. Many of the people I work with have bachelors degrees and a few even have masters degrees. An education won’t keep you out of a call center, at least not my call center.
Don’t get me wrong: I love my job, especially when it involves assisting folks with integrating their credit card processing accounts with their WordPress websites. I just don’t like mean people, but then again, who does?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to decompress.